Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI
featuring lightning talks from twelve experts
There will be a standby line at the door
February 21, 2019
(Doors at 5:30)
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138
SOLD OUT. View our Sold Out Event FAQ.
Harvard Book Store welcomes one of the nation’s leading science editors JOHN BROCKMAN—founder of The Edge Foundation, Inc. and editor of Know This, This Idea Must Die, This Explains Everything, and other volumes—for a presentation of his latest book, Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI.
This event will be a 90-minute program, featuring lightning talks from thirteen experts—MARY CATHERINE BATESON, KATE DARLING, PETER GALISON, NEIL GERSHENFELD, ALISON GOPNIK, CAROLINE JONES, DAVID KAISER, SETH LLOYD, HANS ULRICH OBRIST, ALEX PENTLAND, STEVEN PINKER, MAX TEGMARK, and STEPHEN WOLFRAM—each offering a different perspective on the topic of artificial intelligence.
About Possible Minds
"Artificial intelligence is today's story—the story behind all other stories. It is the Second Coming and the Apocalypse at the same time: Good AI versus evil AI." —John Brockman
More than sixty years ago, mathematician-philosopher Norbert Wiener published a book on the place of machines in society that ended with a warning: "We shall never receive the right answers to our questions unless we ask the right questions . . . The hour is very late, and the choice of good and evil knocks at our door."
In the wake of advances in unsupervised, self-improving machine learning, a small but influential community of thinkers is considering Wiener's words again. In Possible Minds, John Brockman gathers their disparate visions of where AI might be taking us.
The fruit of the long history of Brockman's profound engagement with the most important scientific minds who have been thinking about AI—from Alison Gopnik and David Deutsch to Frank Wilczek and Stephen Wolfram—Possible Minds is an ideal introduction to the landscape of crucial issues AI presents. The collision between opposing perspectives is salutary and exhilarating; some of these figures, such as computer scientist Stuart Russell, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, and physicist Max Tegmark, are deeply concerned with the threat of AI, including the existential one, while others, notably robotics entrepreneur Rodney Brooks, philosopher Daniel Dennett, and bestselling author Steven Pinker, have a very different view. Serious, searching, and authoritative, Possible Minds lays out the intellectual landscape of one of the most important topics of our time.
“While the [Possible Minds] authors disagree on the answers, they agree on the major question: what dangers might AI present to humankind? Within that framework, the essays offer a host of novel ideas . . . Enlightening, entertaining, and exciting reading.” —Publishers Weekly
UPDATE: Tickets for this event are sold out. Please note, we are often able to accommodate additional attendees from a standby line for sold out events. View our Sold Out Event FAQ for more information.
Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 10 minutes
As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and proceed along Brattle St. Follow Brattle St. as it curves to the right in Brattle Square (follow the sidewalk on the right side of the street). The Brattle will be on the left-hand side of the street. The building is shared with Algiers Cafe and Alden & Harlow Restaurant, and the theatre entrance is on the left side of the building—look for the sidewalk poster case and marquee.
Updates during COVID-19
Review our guidelines for visitors and other updates on hours and services at Harvard Book Store this summer.Learn More »
Shipping & Delivery
We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $60+ ship free!Learn More »
Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!
Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.Learn More »